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Relay raises money and spirits

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By Natasha LaFayette

Fireworks lit up the sky at the Relay for Life event last Friday. Though the rain came and went throughout the evening, the blazing lights were still ignited, as if to symbolize the triumph of the survivors present.

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The Relay for Life event raised $58,600 for the American Cancer Society this year. Though co-chairs Ali Dower and Tracy Powers wanted to raise $70,000, they were very pleased with the amount raised, said Dower.

About 27 teams turned in money for the event and more will be raised this month.

Many booths and people lined the track at the Campbell County High School football field for the event. The survivor lap started the occasion, with 20 teams in tow.

Presentations and musical groups performed and games were held throughout the evening.

With so many smiles at the event that it was hard to tell people were there in support of Cancer research and a cure to the often-deadly disease.

Twenty teams lined the track with games for children, food for the whole family and a variety of fundraisers.

Face painting, beanbag throwing and limbo were just some of the many options for the children to choose from. The adults walked the track, and many people could be seen making the turns of the black asphalt the entire evening. They stopped to chat with others or grab some food and began walking again.

After the fireworks sounded a last loud boom, the lights remained turned off. There was silence as the luminary service began.

Approximately 120 glowing bags illuminated the track, each one with a name of someone who was fighting the disease or who had been taken by it. The bags were for loved ones from schools, families and organizations.

Each name listed on the bags was read aloud during the service, and it was utter silence as the names were enunciated over the intercom.

Every person listed was someone’s friend, relative or spouse demonstrating Cancer had in some way affected almost every person at the Relay event.

“I am a Cancer survivor and somebody raised money for me 17 years ago,” said Dower. “So now it is my turn to raise money for someone else.”

Though the Relay event was the conclusion of fundraisers to benefit the American Cancer Society, many teams will continue to collect funds for several more months.

Top fundraisers for the event were Jacksboro Middle as the top school participant  raising $6,923, National Coal was the top business raising $6,461 and Coolidge Baptist was the top church raising $2,536.